If you’re a guy, you know you probably lack what the women in your life call a “sense of style.” And this carries through everything from selecting a pair of shoes to equipping yourself with a minimalist wrist watch. Fortunately, professional guidance can help you choose wisely and avoid the situation where a watch you think you want doesn’t really either fit your style or your pocketbook. That’s when knowledgeable experts can be your new best friends. Here are some things they’ll ask you about:
What’s the Occasion?
Let’s face it: even a guy with two fashion “left feet” knows there are some occasions when only the best will do. You won’t wear a watch with a rustic, studded leather band to your own (or a friend’s) wedding—we hope! Check out some of the fashion magazines if you’re a little hazy about what “goes with what,” and you’ll feel much more confident in matching the accessory to the occasion.
What’s Your Comfort Zone?
Once in a while, all of us find ourselves wearing something that’s really not comfortable for the sake of being “in” or “trendy.” This, however, should not be the case with your watch, since you’re going to wear it most of the time. If you’re sensitive to silver, stainless steel, or other metals—as many people are—steer toward leather, cloth, or other non-metallic watchbands, and you’ll have a watch you enjoy wearing as much as you need to.
What’s Your Wrist Size?
Consider your overall size when shopping for a watch. If you’re big-boned, avoid watchbands that are too narrow or tight; one will get “lost,” and the other will pinch. Likewise, if you’re wiry of build, a watch that’s too big can appear to “weigh your arm down,” and that’s not a feeling or an effect you want to create. Choose a watch that looks proportionately “right” and feels snug enough not to fall off, but not so tight that it’s restrictive.
How Tough Are You?
If you’re “tough” on watches, there’s good news: manufacturers increasingly offer timepieces that stand up to stress. Just be honest with yourself about how long you want this watch to last, and plan to spend accordingly. High-quality materials such as titanium, platinum, quartz, and shatterproof crystal cost a little more, but their payoff in terms of longevity makes them worth the investment.
The same goes for the weatherproofing you want your watch to have. Water and watches are natural enemies, hence the demand for increased numbers of waterproof watches on the market. If you’re a fisherman, swimmer, diver, or hunter, you’ll want a watch that not only repels water but such contaminants as dust and sand, and can endure extreme heat or cold. Special watches designed for athletes and active people can be worth their weight in gold.
Need Face Time?
A watch face’s function is to show you the time—and in most cases, the bigger the display, the better. However stylish a minimalist watch may look in the case, it does you no good if its face is so small or “unique” in its design that you can’t readily tell the time at a glance. Proportion is key here, too, so make sure the face gives you all the information you need it to impart.
What Extras Do You Want?
Do you want a watch you can use to start your car? A generation ago, that would have sounded like science fiction; now, it’s on ads. Some watches tell you not only the local time but time in several other places…give you a brief weather report…or be communication devices when your phone’s not handy. The upside of all of this is a great multifunction “machine” on your wrist; the downside is, more features mean a higher cost, both in initial outlay and repair prices. Weigh each “extra” on the scale to determine how many you truly need.
Do You Want a Watch that’s in High Demand?
If you do, you may need not only to pay more but to wait for it from a manufacturer. Often, selecting a model that’s not “the latest greatest thing” means you’ll get just as good a watch as the “trendy” one…sooner, and at a lower cost. Let your common sense make that decision!
Where Will You Buy?
All minimalist watch vendors are not created equal! Take the time to research reviews about the product you intend to buy and where you intend to buy it. You want a vendor who clearly knows watches, who can detail for you the differences and strong and weak points, and let you know which of their lines is the best for your budget. And, of course, common sense should prevail here, too: if you see too many negative reviews of a place or a brand, it’s best to avoid both. Scams and fakes are as prevalent in the watch world as they are elsewhere; do your due diligence.
Expert guidance, from a reputable jeweler or watchmaker, will be the strongest protection you have in these instances. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about anything you don’t understand, do your comparison shopping…and then enjoy your new minimalist watch in confidence!